MEDIA WATCHDOG: WILLIS WILL SOON BE TALKIN’

Street Talk MEDIA WATCHDOG: WILLIS WILL SOON BE TALKIN’

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It’s almost the end of May and Ravens fans are now in that “just waiting until camp begins” phase that sets in the day after the draft ends on the last Sunday in April.  You might think there is nothing to talk about between now and training camp…but I say guess again.
 
Beantown debacleAlthough not a huge baseball fan I do keep up on Orioles news and I too was distressed by the meltdown that occurred in the last game of the Boston series.  I figured a major topic the next day would be the firing of skipper Sam Perlozzo.  Since many people don’t get to hear all of the morning sports talk shows it was nice to have Anita Marks replay the Mark Viviano interview with said manager now officially on the hot seat.  Thanks for the rerun Anita…the timing was perfect as I caught it on my evening commute home.  Count me in as one of the millions who exclaimed, “What are you thinking!” when Perlozzo gave Guthrie the hook.  Sam is lucky he didn’t get the same from Mr. A…  at least not yet.
 
Miss Miami hits a home run ~ Anita Marks’ interview with Orioles VP Jim Duquette was solid because this time she stuck to baseball and asked solid questions about minor league talent and the current state of the starting rotation…nice job.  I would still like to hear a little less banter with your producer(s) du jour and more interaction with callers.
 
We know what Willis will be talkin’ bout now ~ Staying with the Ultimate Sports Chick, Marks announced the replacement for the recently departed Adalius Thomas on his weekly Ravens radio show heard on AM 1300.  And the winner is….(Drum roll please)…new Ravens RB Willis McGahee.
 
Does it surprise anyone that Marks would have a former Miami Hurricane as her co-host when this weekly show starts up again during the season? I hope the football talk is as enjoyable as it was last year when Thomas was doing the show. What’s the over-under on how long it takes for the topic of favorite Miami bars, restaurants or beaches to pop up?
 
NFL Network ~ I love the NFL Network during the season, but when the station first aired I wondered like you what it would broadcast during the off season. Often I get the impression the execs at NFLN think every person watching is a super hardcore football fan.  When I tuned in last week I saw an hour long show on the Arizona Cardinals most recent OTA.  I thought to myself…”how many fans, other than diehard Cardinals fans, are actually going to watch this program?”  I might not even watch a whole show on a Ravens OTA.  Unless there is an injury or a player expected to report is a no-show, how much is there to talk about?  It would be nice if NFLN took the hour long time and sliced it into segments on several different teams. I would be much more interested in less detail on more teams at this point in the off season.
 
GAMETIME knows the right time for Fantasy talk  ~ The NFL touts itself as the sport that has no off season. This holds true for fantasy footballers too.  Props to GAMETIME crew for the interview Sunday with local NFL fantasy expert Kurt Backert.  It’s always nice to get a little extra information before the hard-core draft research begins, and Backert always has some nugget that proves to be useful.  A prime example is how he said the Colts will likely be using starting TE Dallas Clark in more of a blocking role this year because new draft pick Anthony Gonzales will be seeing time as the slot WR and likely take away touches from Clark.
 
Steve Davis interview with Towson hoops Coach Pat Kennedy ~ Steve Davis is good at interviewing guests…it’s his strength.  I heard most of the Pat Kennedy interview last week and I came away with a better appreciation of how frustrating it must be for a basketball coach to navigate the minefield of NCAA recruiting rules and regulations.  Kennedy is one of the best interviews in town and his responses are always informative and genuine.
 
What’s old is new again ~ WNST’s Drew Forrester broke the story that the Orioles had petitioned Major League Baseball to return "Baltimore" to the road jerseys in 2008. As a fan that used to attend around 10 games per year, the move gets a thumbs-up from me.  Although it won’t translate to a higher place in the AL East standings, it is a small step in the right direction for a franchise in turmoil. Be careful Drew, your credibility is on the line now.
 
The Fighting Ungers go down for the count ~ I tuned in to WNST on Saturday morning to catch a few minutes of a new show called "The Fighting Ungers".  What I heard left me promising myself this show will be off my normal rotation list for good. One of the Ungers, maybe it was Felix, was saying how he hated lacrosse in general and saw no reason for it to be on the radio and had no interest in the UMBC-Delaware game on Sunday.  Hey pal, even if you don’t like lacrosse, there is no reason to diss the sport and go out of your way to rain on the UMBC parade on one of the biggest sports weekends in the history of the school.
 
Your job as a local sports radio host is to support local sports regardless of whether you like a particular sport or not. I might not be the biggest field hockey fan around, but if a local university was in the national quarterfinals for the first time in school history I can promise you I wouldn’t be ripping the school, the sport, or a radio station broadcasting the event.  From hereon in the MW will look at "The Fighting Ungers" like a freshly painted fire hydrant.
 
The Baltimore Sun misses the empty net ~ This time of year I always log onto The Baltimore Sun site to see what they have to say about the local college lacrosse teams.  I wasn’t totally disappointed last week in seeing fine articles on players from Hopkins, Alex Smith of Delaware and UMBC coach Don Zimmerman.  But there were other stories out there with local connections that should have been considered easy pickings.
 
North Carolina head coach John Haus attended Loyola high school and played for UNC championship teams in the early 80s.  Another former Loyola player, Georgetown starting attackman Andrew Baird, was playing against his former team mate Michael Kimmel, now a starting midfielder at Johns Hopkins. Where were these stories folks?
 
MASN Musings: Talk about false advertising ~ I saw a MASN promo touting the Orioles Miguel Tejada as the best power hitting SS in baseball.  Really? So I did a little digging and would have to say that is some serious false advertising.  As of 5/21/2007 at 8 PM these were Tejada’s rankings in the three major hitting categories:
 
Avg:  6th (.305)
HR:  13th (2)
RBI:  14th (18)
 
News flash for the MASN promo dept….the MLB’s best power hitting SS is JJ Hardy of the Brewers. He is batting .320 with 14 HRs and 41 RBI.  When does Tejada become trade bait?
 
And since we are on the subject of MASN self promotion have you noticed while watching any of their Orioles broadcasts they have MASN on the screen two places almost the entire time? The bug scoreboard has MASN on it in the upper left of the screen and there is the MASN watermark in the lower right of the screen.  I wonder if they’ve thought about adding a scroll at the bottom of the screen for the "MASN triple play"…you never know, the scroll could be sponsored by the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, a Professional Corporation.

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Scot Kleinfeld

About Scot Kleinfeld

Scot is a Baltimore native, a Towson University graduate, and has followed sports since the early 1980’s. Scot likes to go inside the numbers and get the real “411” on the wins and losses,  hence his Behind The Numbers column.
 

Besides being an avid sports fan, Scot has been involved with televison sports production as an Associate Producer since 1993 for WMAR, ESPN, ESPNU,ESPN2, and the former Home Team Sports network.  In addition to his television work Scot has written articles for Baltimore Magazine, Lacrosse Magazine and Patuxent Publishing.  These experiences make him a natural as the creator of the Media Watchdog, another of SK’s fine contributions.
 

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